Cover Stories: Cover Story
Don Rickles is frequently described as an “insult” comedian, and he’s earned the title.
In front of an audience, he said to Frank Sinatra, “Frank, believe me, I’m telling you this as a friend. Your voice is gone.”
He said to old-time comedian Milton Berle, “It’s over.”
To Gene Kelly, “Enough with the rain. I’ll buy you an umbrella.”
To Red Skelton, “Get your face fixed.”
To Jimmy Durante, “Take off your hat, Jimmy. It’s not a Jewish holiday.”
To say that Sha’ar Communities is not a regular shul is not to overstate or embroider, but to make a simple statement of fact.
Were someone to come to it cold, the name would make that clear. Sha’ar is singular — it means gate in Hebrew — and Communities, of course, is plural. It’s an odd construction.
It doesn’t have Congregation or Kehillah or Temple in its name.
And it doesn’t even have a town. It’s not of or in anyplace in particular, just Bergen County in general.
So, then, what is Sha’ar Communities?
When you interview many people for a story about Rabbi Neal Borovitz, who is about to retire from Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge, you’d expect a little whisper of dissatisfaction. No one is beloved by everybody all the time.
You know that you wouldn’t include any of that criticism in your story — it’s not that kind of piece — but you’d hear it nonetheless. Just a hint. After all, he’s human.
There isn’t any.
Politics is all about relationships.
When you think about it, what isn’t?
We would all like to believe that if you can lay out facts, make a case, and show that there is both moral and strategic good on your side, you will win. But in order to do that, you have to have someone in front of whom to lay out the facts. You need someone who will listen when you make your case.
That is as true about winning support for Israel as any other issue.
So if you are passionate about Israel, know your stuff, and want to make a difference, all you have to do is talk to your friend the politician. Master your facts, shape your argument, make it — the way to influence legislators, and therefore to affect legislation.
There are some things that most of us never have and never will experience. We can imagine what it would feel like, but we never will really know.
One of those things has to be entering a huge arena and jumping, dancing, twirling, flying, seemingly beyond gravity’s pull. For about a minute and a half. To music. In front of thousands of people, clapping for you, and tens of millions more sitting in their living rooms all across the world watching you. Judging you. At the Olympics.
You’re very young when you do this — just 18. It’s the Summer Games in London last summer. You do very well in all your competitions — and you get the gold in your last one, the floor program. You are the first American woman to do this. You also win a bronze medal for your work on the balance beam. You are also the team captain, and the whole team wins the overall gold, as well.
There are a lot of differences between Carnegie Hall and an Olympic stadium, but when you ask your GPS how to get to either one, you get the same directions.
It helps if you start that practice when you are really young. In other words, if you want even a chance to become Aly Raisman, first you have to work very hard to turn yourself into Eden Glick.
The Kaplan JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly has a gymnastics program, but it is not a training program for competitions, according to Joe Agosto, the JCC’s athletics director.
Twenty to 30 children — overwhelmingly girls — participate in the program. The 3- to 5-year-olds do tumbling; the older ones practice rhythmic gymnastics. “It’s a combination of gymnastics and dance,” Agosto said.
There are so many things going on at once!
First, it’s spring. The flowering trees have just peaked, tulips are gloriously unfurled, and the whole world is bright flowers and blue sky and translucently green grass and fluffy white clouds. (Unless, of course, it rains, but it can’t. It mustn’t. And the colors shine even through the rain, when the sky glows with steel and everything is reflected in the road.)
It’s a day for community, for families to gather, for fitness exercises led by professionals, for a carnival in the morning for kids, for music and food.
It’s Mother’s Day.